The obsession started early

One of my earliest conscious memories is food related.

It is of a vast sea of shiitake mushrooms, stretching out forever and ever before my eyes. I think I must have been around 2 years old when I saw this, and the bounty of shiitake caps was probably just a boxful of them.

I remember the last meal we had in our old house in Hachioji, a suburb of Tokyo, before my mother took my sister Mayumi and me to London to join our father. It was a spaghetti salad, with slivers of ham in it. I still can taste the slight sourness of the mayonnaise dressing, and the sight of the empty living room, with just the black telephone sitting on the floor. It was my first experience of leaving something behind, and that sour taste still reminds me of the sadness I felt in my 5 year old heart.

Later on, when I was 8 and my mother took us on a 2-week, multi-country coach holiday, the strongest memories I have are of standing on the curvy staircase of the Laurentian Library in Firenze (Florence), gazing awestruck at some painting on the wall, and of the melting, wonderful goodness of a lasagna that was served at dinner.

Food has been a source of joy and enjoyment for me; something to excite and titiliate, something to turn to for solace and comfort. The flip side of it is the effect of too much of a good thing on ones body. I've dieted on and off almost all my life, as I know many women have. And I've seen, and experienced, the adverse medical effects the improper intake of food can cause. I've never gotten to the point of hating food, but I've sometimes thought of maybe leaving it for another love.

Yet, I always come back to food. Whether it's caviar on blini, fresh sashimi, a simple omelette made with fresh farm eggs and good butter, or a bowl of hot rice with a pickled plum - I love good food.

So welcome to my food blog. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Addendum, March 13, 2005: The origins of the site name and sub-title are explained The origins of the site title. Yes, they are from M.F.K. Fisher, who is an inspiration to me.

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The obsession started early

Nice site Maki. My cousin is an amazing cook, a subscriber to Gourmet Traveller and a general lover of food. I drew my cousin's attention to your site in the hopes of inspiring him to set up his own food blog. He has lots of recipes to share.

dez | 30 November, 2003 - 05:18

The obsession started early

thanks dez! I'm glad you like it.

I've put some links to other food blogs in the sidebar. Hopefully those will also help to inspire your cousin to put up a site!

maki | 30 November, 2003 - 13:13

The obsession started early

Recently entered blogosphere though I was born the year "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was published and live for food. Found you through Technorati search. Enjoy your blog and welcome you to mine. Write for Suite101 on gourmet food ( and my on my own (
Am half-gaijin, half-Japanese, married to full Chinese from HK and living in Puritan Boston on the edge of Chinatown. Life is good.

Jacqueline | 21 April, 2006 - 10:35

can't wait to start reading this from the beginning

I am hooked on your blog! I just now thought to look back at your first entry, and I am heartened to see that you, too, have struggled with a “love of food” that doesn’t always suit your body well. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I am always looking for inspiration from other cooks and eaters who have to balance the desire for good food with the desire to take care of one’s self. Here’s to your great ability to do just that on your site!
Ai Lu

Ai Lu | 1 December, 2008 - 03:35

Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind comments! Your blog is lovely also!

maki | 1 December, 2008 - 11:28

I love that salad with ham!

I love that salad with ham! my mom makes it sometimes with macaroni. And sometimes she puts peanuts (from the chunky peanut butter? i don’t know i’d rather not ask what fattening things she puts in there) in it.

anon. | 1 December, 2008 - 22:41

food obsession…

food obsession… unhealthy… wonderful… I wonder how many millions of people (myself included) “suffer” from a love of food? I’m pretty plump, perhaps leaning towards gasp overweight but I’m also happy! Good food keeps me going… When I’m having a bad day, cooking is such a release from the day’s tensions. I feel sorry for people who are constantly on a diet. I’m really glad you started this site… and a Belated Happy birthday to Just Hungry! ^_^

Bell | 2 December, 2008 - 23:28

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